Heading into a career fair can be super uncomfortable. You’re dressed in clothes you never wear, heels you can barely walk in, and have to stand in line with a bunch of other people who want the same internships or jobs as you. We’ve outlined a few tips and tidbits that can improve your overall experience when attending these networking events.
Before the Career Fair:
For college students, attending your first career fair can be overwhelming. If you have the opportunity, try and attend one of your colleges' career fairs just to walk around and experience it. I did this as a freshman simply because I had no idea what to expect. It allowed me to walk into my second career fair feeling more confident!
The best thing you can do for yourself going into the career fair is to find out which companies will be in attendance. You’ll feel more relaxed if you know who is attending and which companies you want to network with. Do your research on the companies, prepare some questions, and make an introduction. Having a plan will help you when you feel lost and confused.
During the Career Fair:
When you first arrive, take a lap to figure out exactly where all the companies on your list are located (this is essential if you aren’t provided some sort of map) and assess how long the lines are.
I would suggest not starting with your top or dream company. Get your first-time jitters out of the way. Being able to give your elevator pitch once as a “practice round” will give you more confidence when you approach the other companies.
It’s important to remember what your goals are when you start talking to the employees. Typically, they will have some leading questions after you introduce yourself, but be prepared to ask questions and convey why you are interested in the company. Don’t forget to leave your resume or business card at the table. It’s important that they have something to remember you by.
After the Career Fair:
This is potentially the most important part of attending a career fair! It’s all about networking, but you’ll never establish a relationship if you don’t reach out. Time sensitivity in these situations is really important. Most people will delay sending their follow up email, so try to send it shortly after the career fair. When formulating your email, make sure you include how great it was to meet them, and a snippet of your conversation to jog their memory.
Career fairs are a great opportunity to network with people who work in the positions and field that you are aiming for, but are a great place for you to learn about jobs and internships. Do all your research and be confident! You will rock this career fair!
Come dip your feet into the career fair world at Imagine Media’s Career Fair on June 22! We’re hosting a career fair in the office to foster a more intimate setting. If you are interested in a career in social media, feel free to pop by between 8-10 AM for resume guidance, interview tips, and networking. We can’t wait to meet you! See more details and RSVP here
Story By: Anna Kate Newall